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NJ Surpeme Court Still Two Members Short [AUDIO]

Today, the State Senate and the General Assembly will vote on a measure to place a question on this November’s ballot asking New Jersey voters if they’d like to amend the constitution to force judges to contribute more for the pensions and health benefits.

Governor Christie and Bruce Harris
Governor's Office

Last week, the State Supreme Court ruled 3-2 that judges don’t have to pay more. There are supposed to be seven justices on the bench.

The ruling sparked some Republicans to say things might have been different if Democrats didn’t reject Governor Chris Christie’s last two State Supreme Court nominees. The top Democrat in the Senate dismisses that.

“I think it’s nonsense,” says State Senate President Steve Sweeney. “You never know how a court is going to rule. You can anticipate, but you never know. A perfect example is the (U.S.) Supreme Court when (Chief Justice) John Roberts ruled on federal health care. Nobody saw that coming.”

The conservative Roberts has received a lot of heat for ruling to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He has been called by some a traitor to the conservative base.

In recent months Democrats have rejected two Christie’s nominees to fill out the State Supreme Court. Phil Kown would have been the first Asian-American justice, but was shot down because of his mother’s questionable bank transactions and because Democrats didn’t believe he is actually an Independent and not a Republican.

Bruce Harris would have been the high court’s first openly gay justice, but Democrats rejected him too citing a lack of courtroom experience. Christie has yet to announce his next nominees.

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